Meditation has become a necessity in our multidimensional lives, and yet it doesn’t come easily for some people. People want to try it, but they often find it is more challenging than they ever imagined. So today we’re going to talk about the connection between yoga and meditation and how one helps the other.
How hard can yoga be? Sitting up straight uses muscles that we may not use very often, and that takes time to develop. If you sit at a desk all day long, but your back is hunched over the computer, sitting up straight and remaining still may feel rather uncomfortable.
So what is the connection between yoga and meditation?
Yoga postures are an excellent way to prepare your body for meditation. It is not only refreshing for the body, but also the brain. Yoga poses were essentially designed to systematically prepare the body to meditate, though with much of the yoga being practiced today, the link between yoga and meditation is unfortunately rarely mentioned.
Getting into and out of a yoga pose is as important as being in the pose itself. For example, when we raise our arms, we inhale. When we lower our arms to our sides, we exhale. We can move our arms up and down, in a graceful manner in cooperation with our breath, or we can lift the arms quickly and let them just drop, without connecting to the breath just as we can flop down on a couch, or sit gracefully with ease and control.
When we begin to slow our breath and begin to sync it with our movement, we start to calm down and become closer to a single-minded purpose. By slowing down, we begin to accomplish more and keep our attention in the present moment. This also helps to strengthen our body, as well as awareness, in preparation for meditation.
Yoga and meditation are interrelated and they go hand and hand. They work together to unite our small self with our higher soul self. One cannot be present without the other. We need to be aware of the body in order to forget about it, in order to go inward in meditation.
Where the breath flows, the mind goes. In both yoga and meditation, we can raise our consciousness. Yoga helps us to bring the body to a point of stillness by clearing away the restless energy we carry around, and prepares us to become fully immersed in the deep concentration of meditation. Yoga, like chanting, can help open our hearts and allow the energy to flow upward, to the higher chakras and higher consciousness.
If you are interested in learning more about the connection between yoga and meditation – or if you’d like information regarding the classes we offer – don’t hesitate to call or visit our office today!